Apes : Planet Without Apes Essay

Apes : Planet Without Apes Essay

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Every few years, Hollywood releases a new Planet of the Ape movie, which is always a blockbuster hit. Moviegoers flock to see these movies of how apes rise together and how they are actually more intelligent than meets the eye. Most people do not know the premise behind these movies of how smart and closely related apes are to humans. This is because people probably have never taken a physical anthropology class and have not done research on apes –our closet kins. Known for his immense studies in the fields of apes and monkeys, his long term research in the behavior of chimpanzees and mountain gorillas, and his experience in the forests with the apes, the co-director of the Jane Goodall Research Center and writer of our textbook, primatologist Craig B. Stanford dispels the frightening picture that Hollywood paints of apes and shows the importance of apes in our lives. In his book, Planet Without Apes, Stanford introduces readers to apes, shows why the apes are endangered, how similar we are to apes, and why we should protect the apes. He does so in nine chapters – “Save the Apes”, “Heart of Darkness”, “Homeless”, “Bushmeat”, “Outbreak”, “In a Not-So-Gilded Cage”, “The Double-Edged Sword of Ecotourism”, “Ethnocide”, and “May There Always be Apes”. Stanford strategically chooses the name Planet Without the Apes, as a parody of the Hollywood franchise, hoping such a title would capture potential readers’ interests. Stanford does not simply tell us why we need to save the apes – he brings us on a journey with the apes and by the end of the book, we feel compelled to save the apes.
Stanford opens up his book with his prologue: “Save the Apes!” which serves as a thesis to his entire argument. He shows readers how similar we are to the...

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...till committing ethnocide of the apes. Because of our intervention in the apes’ habitats and life, we are interfering with their culture. By logging and cutting down trees, captivating them for labs, and spreading diseases, we are essentially killing the apes and their culture. Stanford ends his book, with “May There Always be Apes.” In this epilogue, Stanford says that the fates of the apes are in our hands and how their population ends up is all dependent on us. I believe he writes this book to persuade readers and the audience to do the right choice – to protect our closet kins. He hopes that there will always be apes. With this, we conclude the journey with Stanford and the apes. This book was a rollercoaster of emotions – empathy, anger, pity, and hopefulness. Stanford does an excellent job of showing us why apes need to be saved, rather than just telling us.

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